It's Parrothead Weekend at Sunday River. This 27th annual spring ski event brings out island-inspired alpine attire, Jimmy Buffet music, a margarita mix off, key lime pie tasting, and spam carving at White Cap, plus pond skimming - which is just a practice run for next Sunday's Pond-A-Palooza April 12 at South Ridge - a new twist on a wet and wild fan favorite.
Stowe's fabled Sugar Slalom is this weekend, one of the oldest alpine race events dating back to 1940. This year's Sugar Slalom is Mardi Gras themed for the 1,000 ski racers participating at Stowe.
Killington hosts the legendary Bear Mountain Mogul Challenge this Saturday and Sunday. Watch as 200 amateurs bump their way to the finals on Outer Limits for Sunday's mogul show down throw down. The weekend also kicks of the Nor'Beaster series of spring parties at the Big K.
Okemo 's Slush Cup, Splash for Cash and Tug of War events all take place this Saturday, April 5. Okemo has a twist on traditional Pond Skimming, but the basic concept remains, lots of laughs and plenty of skiers going big or getting soaked - always hysterical. You can stay high and dry and enjoy the outdoor BBQ instead, and ski the 635 acres of terrain still open at Okemo.
Wachusett Pond Skimming is this Sunday, costumes are encouraged. During the ski, skim, and soak contest, there will be a BBQ and Band. The US Army Band "The Volunteers" will be playing at what Wachusett promises as the "best deck party ever."Need more incentive? Former New England Patriot Matt Light will emcee the Pond Skimming Sunday 10-1.
Waterville Valley ends its ski season with Last Run Luau Saturday. Pond Skimming will be judged by 2014 Olympians Hannah Kearney, Chris Freeman and coach Bill Enos. Waterville's final ski day of the season is Sunday April 7.
Sugarloaf's backside snowfields are open thanks to four feet of snow in March. The Loaf shines in spring when the sun comes out, the snow softens, and you can ski off the top of this impressive mountain, hence the "King of Spring" title. Next weekend April 10-13 is Reggaefest, but one could argue this is the weekend to hit Sugarloaf ahead of the music loving legions.
If you need a David Letterman style "Top 10 Reasons to Ski and Ride" then simply add sun, tons of snow and a great goggle tan to the above 7. New England ski resorts still have the majority of their mountains open, and some of their best parties of the season. Don' t give up on skiing so soon. This is the best time to go get the spring snow.Photos by Greg Burke, Sugarloaf snowfields and Sunday River Parrothead